Fall for autumnal eating: 5 delicious ideas with seasonal fruit and veg
Embrace the colder weather and darker nights, there’s plenty of foodie inspiration to be had. In the latest of our guest blogs, Hanna Pumfrey from Flor + Cesta, shares her favourite autumn ingredients and what she’ll be turning the glut of seasonal fruit and veg into. It’s time to cosy up and get cooking.
Thu 28 Sep 2017
Autumn is the season of deep green, dark yellow and brilliant orange, with fruits and vegetables that are rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals. The more colourful the fruit, the better it is for your health. Seasonal veg is more easily found without packaging and plastic, in local stores, farm shops or community gardens.
Here’s my top five picks for the most delicious and healthy autumn fruits and veggies and some mouth-watering meal ideas.
Not as fashionable as kale but equally as nutritious, broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, folate and dietary fibre. One cup of broccoli florets has all the calcium you need in a day. Although you can find broccoli in supermarkets year round, crops of this versatile veg are at their peak in the UK between October and April.
For a great seasonal side, try roasting your broccoli with pumpkin seeds and grated pecorino. Roast the seeds with the broccoli, then sprinkle with cheese.
Despite its name, the sweet potato is not related to the potato. Potatoes are classified as tubers, while the sweet potato is a root. Rich in vitamin A and Vitamin C, sweet potatoes are a delicious source of slow burning energy.
As the dark nights draw closer, it’s time to make a soothing sweet potato soup. Add coconut milk and cardamom (or swap cardamom for lime and chilli) for a deliciously creamy, yet hearty dish.
These are more than just Halloween decorations. This jovial fruit is loaded with antioxidants as well as being rich in vitamin C and folate.
Don’t ditch the seeds from a fresh pumpkin. Roast them for about 45 minutes until they’re crisp and toasted. Pumpkin makes a delicious addition to cakes and cupcakes, carrying off winter spices especially well. Chef Tom Hunt makes delicious autumn doughnuts with pumpkin too – find the recipe here.
Pears are a high-fibre food; a medium pear provides four grams of fibre, which is equivalent to one and a half cups of brown rice. A versatile autumn fruit, use pear in anything from a comforting crumble or a loaf cake to savoury dishes such as chicken tagine with caramelised pears. They’re even great in sandwiches with walnuts or grilled Brie.
These often-overlooked fruits are full of flavour and their chewy texture makes them a tasty, nutritious addition to your diet. They’re high in fibre and a good non-dairy source of calcium; equal to milk in fact.
Fig puree (200g figs pureed in a blender with around 50-100ml of water or fruit juice) can be used as both a sweetener and a fat substitute in many baked goods. Or as a little after dinner treat to satisfy your sweet tooth! You can also sweeten up your mashed sweet potatoes with some chopped figs; the figs add a richness of their own, so you can skip the butter or margarine.
Now who’s got the summer blues? Not us.